Frustrated Incorporated? Stop it!

“They say misery loves company, we could start a company and make misery, Frustrated Incorporated…,” thank you, Soul Asylum. You've summed up these few weeks perfectly.

Who doesn't complain about work? Even if it is your dream job, at one point of time or another, there will definitely be something to bitch about. But when deadlines are looming, the higher-ups are breathing down your neck, you have events coming out of your wazoo, you need to call journalists who are halfway around the world, you are tied to your desk and work keeps adding and adding… what the hell do you do?

Firstly, you DO NOT…under any circumstances, freak out all over everyone else or let yourself go mad. Yes, I know the pressure is to deliver (no, you are not the only one who has to deliver), to go-go-go but its times like these where you are also most likely to make the biggest mistakes. Experience and also highly detailed and anal bosses have taught me that there is always time to take that crucial step back, breathe and re-focus, not lose focus or run around like a headless chicken.

What, BUT I HAVE NO TIME! Before you start going mad, get up, take a walk around the room, and go have a coffee, just do something else. Then, come back, pull out a fresh sheet of paper or pull up a blank screen and:
  • Jot down a to-do list – be as detailed as possible. What do you need really to do? Email someone, send out a document, or review material?
  • Put plausible deadlines next to them – don’t be an idiot and say NOW when it really means that you can send it in a few hours or the next day
  • Prioritize your list – Which piece of work needs the most attention? Which are the ones that can be knocked out of the park with minimal effort?
  • Now, for the hardest part. DELIVER on your deadlines. If you tell someone you will send them something by noon, DO it. Nothing kills your credibility faster than a missed deadline. If you can’t deliver on time, give them a call. Explain the delay. Don’t just fob off any ‘ol excuse and expect them to accept it. Chances are their schedule is as crazy as yours too.
Notice I didn't say delegate? Because, you can only delegate so much. Ultimately, you are personally responsible for every item on your list. Not someone else. Greatness comes in delivering what is promised and performing beyond expectations.

I totally get it when we miss deadlines and are frazzled when the madness just becomes bigger and bigger. Being quick to learn and adapt is a skill. But don’t forget to breathe. Breathing and just taking a quick break to re-focus helps tremendously.

It's easy to be part of Frustrated Incorporated but your job is to overcome the challenges, not succumb to it. Walk the talk!

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Ever prodded a sleeping dragon, only to have it whip up and bite you in the ass? Well, neither have I. But I advocate that you should try everything...once ;P
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